Battling the GP... HELP)

crazyscottishgirl Member Posts: 14
edited 30. Jun 2011, 12:51 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi gals n guys,

I have spoken to a couple of you already, but for those who dont know me, HIYA!! 24 from Scotland with "suspected" PA and AS. I was told they suspected I have PA and AS about 6 years ago and have survived ever since on paracetomol and Ibuprofen.
I cant be as active as I want to be now (Ya'll know what thats like) but I am a carer for a parent with OA, RA and AS and work fulltime. The pain is beginning to get to me!
My GP keeps telling me just to rest, which isnt always possible, as you all know. He says because its "early stages" I should be able to cope with it.
I have only seen a "connective tissues" specialist as I have Raynauds as well (bad circulation) and it was their tests that first brought up PA and AS.
After reading up on AS, I am a textbook case! And after speaking to you guys, I'm just about ready to fight my GP.
Can all you lovely people help me, What do I ask for? What should I expect??

And to those wondering, I have never seen a Rhemy, but I have had Xrays and Bloods done, but only things they ever say is "no major change" in regards to my Xrays and Bloods always show high inflammation.

Any help you guys can give me before I crack up will be much appreciated.

Better get back to work



  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good to hear you are ready to fight your GP..That is a brave move to make and we will all be behind you when you go..
    I think you need to be honest with your GP.. explain enough is enough..
    You have been suffering far to long and need something done about it..
    I am not sure if the inflammation in your blood is related to Raynauds?? i am not familiar with it, but if it isn't then i would suspect that most Gp's would refer you to a rheumatologist for them to do further investigation .. as in early inflammatory arthritis they say the sooner treatment starts the better of trying to slow down the process..
    If you find writing down how you feel works better then do so.. maybe you can do a diary over the next few days before your appointment and hand it to Gp when you see them.. sometimes writing can trigger more in someones thoughts than hearing words..
    If you could maybe take someone with you too so they can support you and back up things you have to say..
    You could maybe ring the helpline too, they me able to give you some godd advice on what to do..
    Let us know when you are off to Gp so we can support you..
  • DebraKelly
    DebraKelly Member Posts: 398
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would seriously ask your GP to refer you to a RA/OA specialist! Or if you have private medical insurance do it that way, its a lot quicker!

    Some GP's don't have a clue about RA/OA as I discovered on Friday! but a specialist will be able to give you further advise and might supply you with proper meds to take.

    Ibprofen & Paracetamol tend not to work for me, but they might work for others.

    My advise, get a 2nd opinion.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If your bloods are already showing high inflammation then you should be referred to a rheumatologist, pronto. PA is a sero-negative version of inflammatory arthritis, ie a positive rheumatoid factor is not present in the bloods, but it IS an inflammatory arthritis. My PA was classed as an 'inflammatory arthritis' but then the diagnosis was altered when I had one of my rare bouts of psoriasis. In the early days my inflammation figures were in the 160s-180s, both the CRP and ESR. They are now under control but the joint damage is done and the pain constant. Xrays will also show high levels of inflammation (MRI scans are better for that) but they can also show the presence of OA. Given your family history (read it on the other forum) I am amazed that your GP is being such a dolt over this. I think you need to be referred and soon. Perhaps the Scottish system works a little differently to ours but I hope things can be sorted for you sooner rather than later. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • suzygirl
    suzygirl Member Posts: 2,005
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have to agree you need an urgent referral to a rheumy. Could you see a different gp? Not sure if you have more than one in your practice?

    You need to be on meds to control the inflammation and the disease. You must be exhausted looking after your mother and working fulltime. Is the gp fully aware of your situation? he should be far more supportive.

    If you don't get anywhere with the gp you need to speak to the practice manager.

    Go for it, speak to the gp and let us know how you get on!!!
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I cannot believe how crap your doctor seems :shock: :lol:
    I really would consider changing if you can hun..

    Best of luck with it all, sorry I can't offer any sage advice, I am way too slack for that, lol.

    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My GP wouldnt take me seriously, so I changed doctors, and my treatment began, it has made such a difference just getting the right meds.
    Good luck with everything, and let us know how you get on.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi CSG

    Good to meet you

    First of all l would not go alone...

    l would write a succinct list of what is happening for how long and how much (pain 1-10) it's impact on you ie lenght of time to get moving....difficulty driving etc.

    Then ask for a referral to a rheumatologist asap.

    You need meds he is not prescribing.

    Love and luck

    Toni xx
  • Cez
    Cez Member Posts: 46
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I second the suggestion to get another opinion, the worrying thing is the damage that can happen to your joints if the inflammation is not brought under control.

    What so many people fail to realise is that your treatment should be an agreement between you and your doctor, not just a plan dictated by them. There are so many brilliant doctors and i wouldn't suggest challenging everything! But you're well-informed, you've put up with this long enough and if the dr won't refer you to a rheumatologist then you need to find someone who will. If your doctor is happy enough with his decision and has proof to justify it then he should be happy for another dr to see you and back up his decision, in reality you would hope he sees the (very obvious) error of his ways and reconsiders a referral.

    Don't give up, it's your health and it's you that has to live with this condition and the repercussions!
  • nofanofra
    nofanofra Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It never ceases to amaze me how GPs seem to treat patients like mere inconveniences and can't accept we are looking for their help, not dismissal. For instance how many GPs read the article in the Daily Mail last year that reported a new trial showing there is a 3 month window after the start of symptoms of RA during which intervention can rapidly slow the progress of the disease and in some cases even halt it. This was reported from a well respected consultant rheumy from Birmingham, so it's not obscure hypothesis. Armed with this knowledge, failure to treat early and prevent progess of such a horrendous disease of RA must surely be in contravention of the Hippocratic Oath!